One day while walking taking my morning walk through the park, I had an amazing encounter with a butterfly who would not leave me. In fact it happened three times in 5 days. For me it was a profound moment of enlightenment. Ever since I was three -years-old I have had an enchanting journey with music. I like to tell people, “My first understanding of God was with tequila.” Now I realize I have been creating music for 40 years. I have made my version of Jose Cuervo available for you to listen to. My version went to #1 in Los Angeles in 1981. Shelly West’s version made country song of the year in 1983. It was the first song I ever wrote. I guess you can say, music has been my best friend all of my life. I write country, pop, children’s, blues, musicals and ambient piano. This is my story of how I found God through music.



“A musician must make music, an artist must paint,
a poet must write if he is to be ultimately
at peace with himself.
What a man can be he must be.”
~Abraham Harold Maslow
(Motivation and Personality 1954)

As I try to stand up in the Critical Care Unit waiting room, at Sumner Regional Hospital, I feel my knees buckle and my legs go out from under me. I am weak with worried anticipation and as I began to collapse, my friends Derri and Karen catch me by my arms. After a horrific ordeal that is no less than a living nightmare, my daughter, Denise, is in very critical condition in the next room.
The last time I had gone in to see her, with the exception of her chest barely moving up and down, all signs of life were virtually gone. Her blood pressure was crawling at 48 over 18 while at the same time her heart was racing at 150 beats a minute. There was a huge tube down her throat, breathing for her through a machine. You could hear the ventilator keeping perfect time with an eerie kind of swishing sound, in the corner of the room. As far as her doctor was concerned, Denise was dead.
My poor, sweet baby! Denise was only seventeen years old and so beautiful. Her long blonde hair cascaded over her pillow and her fair skin was cold to the touch. There were several tubes protruding from all parts of her body, monitoring her vital signs and feeding medicine into her veins. She looked very peaceful and free of pain, but it was obvious to me she was not among the living. I could feel she was at the threshold of death’s door and there was nothing I could do. Or was there?
Denise had given us a scare once before when she was five. A young horse had kicked her in the head and knocked her out cold. That was the day I learned how to pray. Now at 3:30 PM, January 16th, 2003, as the snow fell quietly on the ground, I was praying again for the life of my little girl. “OK”, I told myself. “You’ve been talking the talk, now it’s time to walk the walk. Surrender and trust! This is too big for you! Remember your oneness with the unconditional, loving God. Where there is Love, there is no pain and God is Love. It’s all good!”
I immediately felt an overwhelming peace come over me. Even though my human self felt small and helpless, the biggest part of me, which I refer to as my “spiritual self”, began to emerge and take control. I calmly sat back in my high backed chair and closed my eyes.
The darkest night shows the brightest stars. I have learned that the darker things seem, the brighter the blessing at hand. “Hit me with your best shot. Bring it on!” I exclaimed. I completely surrendered my trust to the wisdom of a most loving God, and began to brace myself for the outcome. I knew that whatever would happen from this point on was for the greater good. Knowing this eliminated my fear and I began to feel empowered. I had all the loving energy of the universe on my side, and I felt strong and light with peace.
I called on the trillions of galaxies of the universe, and instructed the powerful Love Force of God to beam down on my child. In my mind, I could see a brilliant, shimmering light illuminating her body, where she lay on the hospital bed. I envisioned the Divine Mother glowing in the golden light and asked her to take charge. Then I saw the loving Master, Jesus, holding Denise in his arms with the most awesome tenderness, rocking her and healing her with Love.
At 5PM it was visiting hour again. As her father and I walked into the Critical Care Unit to bed number one, I could hear the music from my piano, quietly filling Denise’s room. I had instructed the nurses to keep pressing play on the CD player so she could hear my recordings on The Quiet Journey CD that she was so familiar with. It gave me great comfort to know that somehow in her coma, Denise would be able to hear her Mommy’s music and know that I was spiritually with her.
Denise’s vital signs were still very critical and she had developed pneumonia. The nurse told us that she had moved her leg earlier and when she said it, I could hear a trace of optimism in her voice. As I stared at my sweet daughter, lying in a lifeless coma my thoughts were only of my complete love for her. I silently thanked her for choosing me to be her mother and as I bent down to kiss her cheek, I asked her to, “Please return to us.”
Her Daddy reached down to kiss her cheek and as he did, I saw her eyelash flutter ever so slightly. It was in that moment that I knew she was on her way back. I could feel her teetering between “here” and “there” in a place only a chosen few witness in a lifetime. I also knew that she was in a beautiful, peaceful place and coming back to us would not be easy.
At 3AM the night nurse, Amy, woke me up in the waiting room and told me Denise wanted to see me. My baby was awake! She had come back to us and was on her way to recovery.
The next day I learned that Denise did go to the peaceful place. As she weakly spoke of her mystical journey, she seemed transformed. She was filled with beautiful wisdom. I was in complete awe of the saintly words flowing from her mouth. Denise had seen what she refers to as “A golden light outlined with a deep blue.” I asked her, “Is there a reason we are here?” She answered, “Yes Mommy. We are here to experience life. It comes with both pain and happiness.”
Denise revealed to me that she tried to go into the tunnel of light, but they wouldn’t let her in. She said they kept saying, “Go to your Mommy.” Later she told me, “If it’s not your time, it’s not your time and they send you back.”
Denise says that the loving, golden light of God is everywhere. “People just can’t see it. I can… if I close my eyes I can see the light anytime I want. Now I know the big picture.” As she spoke of her near death experience I thought, “What an honor it is to be your mother!”
Life is an adventure that we choose at the soulful level. It is our contract with God. All of us have a divine purpose and all of us are equally important. Life is about rediscovering who we are. We are all students and we are all teachers. My children have been my greatest teachers.
My journey in this lifetime has been experienced as a musician/composer. My purpose is to assist in awakening the spirit with music. I perform my compositions from a place I refer to as the Source of Love. Denise told me later that she could hear my piano recordings from “the other side”. She said that hearing the music, gave her a path back to life and she could hear it playing as she regained consciousness.
This incident with my daughter occurred after Butterfly Moments was written. It was from the lessons that I am about to share with you that I was able to witness the whole event, of almost losing my precious daughter, with my spiritual eyes. I replaced my fear with God. I replaced my fear with Love.
Have you ever felt like God was speaking to you and just when you thought it might be your imagination, a butterfly lands on your shoulder and will not leave?? This happened to me three different times inside of an enlightening week I shall never forget! The story of the butterfly is amazing and will be explained in detail later in the book. As a result of that awesome experience, I now refer to those magical moments that make the soul sing and the body shudder with emotion, Butterfly Moments.
Each one of us has a divine purpose. We are never alone. I repeat… we are never alone! A small, delicate, orange and black butterfly taught me this lesson on a beautiful September morning, while I was having an inquisitive conversation with God. This was a major turning point in my awareness of the divine that dwells within all of us. I began to recognize that Butterfly Moments happen every day. I hope that in sharing what I have come to know, you will better recognize these quiet, beautiful moments that occur every day in your life. My story was written for you with Love.